World War II In HD Colour episode 12: The months of the war in Europe were shocking and desperate. This film follows the British and Americans as they cross the Rhine and the Russians as they push through Poland into Germany itself. It covers the horrors of the liberation of Belsen and Buchenwald, and the final terrible street fighting in Berlin. The story culminates in the suicide of Hitler, the carving up of Germany between the Allies, and the Nuremberg trials.
This film tells the extraordinary story of the war in North Africa and features the heroics of the tiny island of Malta as it withstood wave after wave of Nazi assault. It ends with the Allies fighting their way up Italy and Germany in retreat. World War II in Colour is a 13-episode British television docuseries recounting the major events of World War II narrated by Robert Powell. It was first broadcast in 2008–2009. The series is in full colour, combining both original and colourized footage. The show covers the Western Front, Eastern Front, North African Campaign and the Pacific War. It was on syndication in the United States on the Military Channel.
World War II In HD Colour episode 12
Battle of Berlin
The Battle of Berlin, designated as the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, and also known as the Fall of Berlin, was one of the last major offensives of the European theatre of World War II.
After the Vistula–Oder Offensive of January–February 1945, the Red Army had temporarily halted on a line 60 km (37 mi) east of Berlin. On 9 March, Germany established its defence plan for the city with Operation Clausewitz. The first defensive preparations at the outskirts of Berlin were made on 20 March, under the newly appointed commander of Army Group Vistula, General Gotthard Heinrici.
When the Soviet offensive resumed on 16 April, two Soviet fronts (army groups) attacked Berlin from the east and south, while a third overran German forces positioned north of Berlin. Before the main battle in Berlin commenced, the Red Army encircled the city after successful battles of the Seelow Heights and Halbe. On 20 April 1945, Hitler’s birthday, the 1st Belorussian Front led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov, advancing from the east and north, started shelling Berlin’s city centre, while Marshal Ivan Konev’s 1st Ukrainian Front broke through Army Group Centre and advanced towards the southern suburbs of Berlin. On 23 April General Helmuth Weidling assumed command of the forces within Berlin. The garrison consisted of several depleted and disorganised Army and Waffen-SS divisions, along with poorly trained Volkssturm and Hitler Youth members. Over the course of the next week, the Red Army gradually took the entire city.
On 30 April, Hitler and several of his officials committed suicide. The city’s garrison surrendered on 2 May but fighting continued to the north-west, west, and south-west of the city until the end of the war in Europe on 8 May (9 May in the Soviet Union) as some German units fought westward so that they could surrender to the Western Allies rather than to the Soviets.
Carving up of Germany between the Allies
The division of Germany into four zones of occupation by the Allies, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union, was a major aspect of post-World War II Europe. The process of carving up Germany was formalized at the Potsdam Conference in July-August 1945.
The division of Germany was intended to serve several purposes. Firstly, it was seen as a way to punish Germany for starting the war and causing so much destruction and loss of life. Secondly, it was aimed at preventing the rise of German militarism and nationalism, which were seen as the main causes of the war. Thirdly, it was aimed at establishing a stable and democratic government in Germany, which would help ensure the country’s future stability and prosperity. Each of the four Allies was given control over a different zone of occupation, with the Soviet Union controlling the eastern part of the country and the other Allies controlling the western part. The capital city of Berlin, located deep within the Soviet zone, was also divided into four zones of occupation.
The division of Germany had significant effects on the country and its people. The different zones were separated by barbed wire and other physical barriers, which created a divided and tense atmosphere. The people in the different zones also experienced different levels of economic prosperity and freedom, with the Soviet-controlled East becoming a communist state while the Western zones became democratic. The division of Germany was also a major factor in the Cold War, which developed between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union after the end of World War II. The different ideologies and political systems of the two sides created a deep divide that lasted for several decades and had a profound impact on global politics and international relations.
Despite the division of Germany, the country was eventually able to reunite in 1990, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The reunification of Germany was a major event in modern European history and was seen as a key step towards greater unity and stability in Europe.